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U.S. Launches Tool to Stake Claim to World’s Rare Earth Minerals

The date of: 2020-03-02
viewed: 0

source:Bloomberg-

In a high-tech twist on hammering pickets into the ground, the U.S. State Department has launched an online tool aimed at staking America’s claim to many of the world’s rare-earth minerals.

The U.S. has become increasingly concerned about securing a stable supply of critical minerals used in car batteries, solar panels and wind turbines. Many of those resources are located in emerging markets that may be seen as too risky by American investors looking for “best-in-class” standards.

That raises the potential for “two really bad outcomes,” Francis Fannon, the U.S. assistant secretary of state for energy resources, said in an interview. “Either the world will not get the minerals it needs in order to fuel energy transition technologies,” or “that investment would only come from those who are less concerned about governance issues, transparency, corruption, environmental standards and best practices.”

The new initiative is designed to address these problems by giving countries with nascent resource industries an online “toolkit” to help them develop assets in a way that will allow them to meet the standards of U.S. investors.

Fannon made the comments ahead of the annual convention of the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada in Toronto, at which the online toolkit is being launched.

By 2050, as much as 24% of the world’s electricity will be used to power electric cars, and solar and wind energy will provide almost half the world’s electricity, BloombergNEF predicts. Many of the minerals required for decarbonization are used in other high-demand products, including smartphones. As just one example, BNEF forecasts nickel demand from lithium-ion batteries alone will grow 15.6 times between 2018 and 2030.



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